PC upgrade idea, need feedback

So my 4 and a half year old Dell system is still doing ok but is in need of an OS reinstall and is, well, old. The Q6600 processor is still sufficient for my gaming but I don’t want the whole thing to just fail at some point and it seems pointless to reinstall Windows Vista at this point - I might as well upgrade that.

Which leads me to think that the smart move would be to find something in the $500 range that gives me an updated processor, ideally mated with an SSD that has Win7 or Win8 on it. Then transfer over my one year old videocard and throw the current HDD on for storage.

Anything wrong with this thinking? Any ideas of who sells an SSD only based system that I can do this with? Looking at Dell I’m not seeing much there that fits, though I can find a non-SSD system in that price range.

I’m not sure you’ll get a system you’ld like with an SSD for only $500 (not that I’ve been shopping for one). Why not just get an SSD for the existing machine, and upgrade all the way to Windows 8?

Pick up an i5 Proc, new motherboard to support it, 8GB of DDR3 memory for a grand total of about $400. Spend an extra $80 on a 120GB SSD, and you are almost there. Then put Windows 7 (I’d skip 8 for now, unless you have a burning need for it, and I know you don’t) on it - but that’s going to put you at about $600. Food for thought.

Top Rated i5 Processor on Newegg - $220

Top Rate 8GB Dual-Channel kit (DDR3 1600) on Newegg - $40

Highly regarded (Tom’s Hardware SSD’s under $100) SSD on Newegg - $80

Second highest Rated motherboard that supports the above i5 and DDR3 Ram on Newegg - $125

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM) - $99

Total - $572

Drop the SSD and you are in budget still. This doesn’t include shipping, which might run you $20 more (and then still over budget even with an SSD - I say save up an extra $100 and get the SSD, personally).

What kind of power supply are you running? And what is your video card?

Rather than buying Win 7 at $99 you could check if that Win 8 $40 upgrade deal is still in play.

I’m not really excited about doing a build at this point and was hoping to just buy a box that was video card ready. Since I’m seeing SSD only ultrabooks now, I was expecting to see that option out there. But Dell doesn’t even seem to offer SSDs on their boxes unless you go really high end.

An SSD is easy to add after the fact. Buy something cheap with a big mechanical HDD and put a $80 SSD in there when you upgrade the video card.

You might want to check out vendors like CyberPowerPC and iBuyPower, who offer a lot of customization options on their rigs with relatively modest markups. You might be able to buy a rig sans video card from one of them.

Caveat emptor: have not bought from either, though their Reseller Ratings are good.

My experience with iBuyPower. Took me about 3 seconds on their forum to find a happy story on the front page.